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Rail News: Labor

U.S. Class I workforce widened in February, STB data shows

The number of maintenance of way and structures workers at U.S. Class Is reached 28,775 in mid-February, up 1.8% month over month and 1.1% year over year.
Photo – Union Pacific Railroad


The U.S. Class I workforce grew a bit larger last month. As of mid-February, the large railroads employed 123,377 people in the United States, up 0.6% from January’s level and 2.6% from February 2023’s count, according to Surface Transportation Board employment data.

On a month-over-month basis, four of the six employment categories posted gains, led by maintenance of way and structures, which rose 1.8% to 28,775. Professional and administrative staff moved up 0.6% to 10,445, the transportation (train and engine) workforce ratcheted up 0.4% to 52,867, and maintenance of equipment and stores ranks inched up 0.1% to 18,231.

However, the number of executives, officials and staff assistants fell 1.1% to 8,131 and number of transportation (other than train and engine) workers dipped 0.5% to 4,928.

On a year-over-year basis, all six categories reached higher figures as of mid-February, led by the transportation (train and engine) sector that registered a nearly 4% gain. The other categories and their respective percentage increases were: professional and administrative, 3.6%; maintenance of equipment and stores, 2.1%; transportation (other than train and engine), 1.7%; maintenance of way and structures, 1.1%; and executives, officials and staff assistants, 0.2%.